Sunday, November 30, 2014

Best Cranberry Sauce

I really like cranberry sauce, but unfortunately, I am the only one in the family that does so I get to eat a lot of it.    This year, I was looking for the perfect recipe - nothing exotic like curry powder in it, no pecans, something that could be eaten on it's own, because it would be something I'd be eating long after Thanksgiving Thursday.   My friend Karen had suggested one she makes every year from an old issue of Cooking Light , circa 2001.   Let's pause a moment and lament the demise of Cooking Light.....

I finally had to let my subscription lapse after a while.   It changed - became more of a "woman's magazine" talking about beauty and fashion and less about cooking and lifestyle.   I used to love reading that magazine cover to cover on the day it arrived.   It would talk about an apres ski get together that included mulled wine and a roaring fireplace and appetizers that tried to stay below their unwritten caloric threshold of about 300 calories.   I don't know why it was 300 calories, but that's what it seemed to be.  Granted, if you ate enough 300 calorie appetizers, the point would be moot but that didn't matter.   What they did well was conjure up an image in my head of good friends getting together with good food after some exercise.   I don't know what drove them to change their format; it could be that I was part of the vanishing breed that still liked their food/lifestyle/travel groove.   After all, that's what killed Gourmet Magazine.   It seemed they were shooting for the Real Simple (a magazine I despise) style of mag....short brief articles with good photography intended on selling stuff more than content.   These days, Cooking Light has become a  Real Simple clone, so I let it go.   But I have hope for the kind of food mag that I like....Saveur and Bon Appetit are still really good at telling me about food and lifestyle.   EatingWell has filled the void that Cooking Light left in the world.   And thank God Martha Stewart Living (1-year auto-renewal) fired Pilar Guzman - during her brief tenure there she tried to "Real Simplify" that magazine too but luckily they got back on the right track.

Okay, back to the CRANBERRY SAUCE.   The original Cooking Light version had apples in it, instead of pears, but pears are what I had so I went with it.  I also added apple cider, but water or any kind of fruit juice could be used. It came out delicious!  It goes well even as a side dish - it's not too sweet.  Envision yourself eating this with good friends following an afternoon of snow shoeing in the woods for a winter solstice celebration. Don't you  feel like you are in a Cooking Light article from 20 years ago? Cranberry sauce like this is too good to be served just on Thanksgiving.....

Cranberry Pear Sauce

1 1/2 cups chopped unpeeled cored and seeded pears
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until thick (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Cool completely.

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